I have not read any Babar books so think myself pretty ignorant in the Picture book department since he was so popular at one time. This book really makes me want to visit an art museum and my anniversary is coming up. Once upon a time we were going to spend some nights away in Washington DC and do museums but a recent out of town visit put a damper on it for the door must be left open for the kitty kats and winter is not a time one wants to leave the door open. (all our trials with kitty doors were for naught)
Title: Babar’s Museum of Art
Author/ Illustrator: Laurent De Brunhoff
Publishing info: Published in 2003 by Abrams Books for Young Readers (Ages 4 to 7)
Summary : “Amazon.com Review
On one of their weekly balloon flights over Celesteville, Babar and Celeste notice that the railroad station is standing empty. Elephants, it seems, now prefer cars over trains. Interestingly, although Babar comments on the roads “jammed with traffic,” he and his queen decide to focus on the other issue–the abandoned station. Celeste comes up with an idea to turn it into a museum to house their art collection, and soon an architect is drawing up plans and workers are renovating the building. When the great day of the opening arrives, what a show! The royal couple had acquired some pretty impressive and well known works of art–all featuring elephants, of course. Laurent de Brunhoff outdoes himself with the real-life art-inspired paintings and sculptures, from Mary Cassatt’s “Mother and Child” to Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” to Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” Young art buffs will enjoy the very age-appropriate art appreciation lessons, as the children are encouraged! to say whatever they want about the art: “I like this picture because it’s red,” says Arthur about Van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait.” When pedantic Cornelius tries to pontificate, Celeste gently hushes him. Includes a free pull-out poster. –Emilie Coulter “
Themes: art museums, elephants, animals in art, fiction.
Resources: Go to the art museum with your child and try and find the art depicted in this book. Or get an art book and look for the pieces of art together. Or get a book on museums. See the movies “ Night at the Museum” and /or “The Monument Men” together.
Here are places to go in the Los Angeles area. Do a google search for your area to take your child to go see art. http://www.giftedchildrenla.org/uploads/2/2/8/4/22845926/ideas_to_go.pdf
What I Love about Babar’s Museum of Art: I have not read any other Babar books but I think I should start. This one is a parody of famous art by famous artists. Babar, the young elephant boy’s elephant family is all involved in making an art museum, admiring the paintings and then coming home to make their own art and explore all the new possibilities. IF you look closely at the art of this elephant’s museum you will recognize some you’ve seen. I recognized da Vinci’s’ “Mona Lisa” and Raffaello Sanzio’s “Saint Michael and the Dragon”, and many others although they are all of elephants in an elephant world.
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